Following the typical July dead period, the NFL offseason is ready to ramp up once again.
Teams around the league are set to begin training camp soon with the preseason slate just around the corner. The Seattle Seahawks will begin their camp at the VMAC in Renton on July 31.
The Seahawks will have plenty to watch for it what promises to be an intriguing training camp. While most of the storylines won’t take shape until the Seahawks get back on the field as a team, there are a few things to watch with one week left until camp.
Earl Thomas injury
Just about the entire Seahawks secondary was dealing with some sort of significant injury during and following the Super Bowl. Thomas had surgery to repair a torn labrum and has been unable to participate in any offseason activities so far.
While that injury typically takes six to eight months to recover from, Thomas was previously confident that he would be ready for the beginning of the regular season. That changed this week, as Thomas said he was unsure if he will be able to play in Seattle’s opener against the St. Louis Rams.
Thomas said he will get a better idea of how his recovery after a physical on July 30 in Seattle. Any time Thomas misses or is limited for would obviously be huge, as he is arguably the most important player on the Seattle defense.
If Thomas can’t go, it’s not exactly clear who the Seahawks will turn to, although DeShawn Shead is a strong candidate. While that’s not ideal, its better to rest Thomas for Week 1 to ensure he’s good to go later in the season.
When the Seahawks added undrafted free agent running back Thomas Rawls, he looked like a potentially interesting piece with an outside chance of making the team. Rawls has done nothing but impress the Seattle coaching staff in the offseason and looks like he may have an opportunity to get some regular season action.
The Seahawks waived running back Demitrius Bronson off of injured reserve on Wednesday. Bronson wasn’t much of a factor, but that leaves one less running back for Rawls to beat out. Seattle enters training camp with five running backs on the roster, and only Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin are guarantees to make the roster.
If Rawls continues to look good, he may even challenge Christine Michael for the No. 3 running back role.
The focus will be on the Russell Wilson contract extension talks throughout training camp. While there will be tons of attention on the situation, Pete Carroll and company have typically been good enough at tuning out distractions in the past.
There aren’t too many new updates on Wilson’s contract. The two sides are expected to talk more before training camp, but once camp starts, there will be no new negotiations before the end of 2015.
The more interesting extension talks for now may be with Bobby Wagner, as Seattle is hopeful to get a deal done with him before camp. Wagner isn’t getting as much attention as Wilson, but he is an absolutely critical part of Seattle’s present and future.
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